Ion Jelly materials combine the chemical versatility and conductivity of an ionic liquid (IL) with the morphological versatility of a biopolymer (gelatin). They exhibit very interesting properties, such as conductivities up to 10 - 4 S cm - 1, and high thermostability up to 180 °C, and have been used successfully to design electrochromic windows. In this work we report on the preparation of Ion Jelly fibers through electrospinning in order to obtain high surface area conductive materials. We have used the IL 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3-methyl-imidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([C 2OHmim]BF 4), which exhibits conveniently high ionic conductivity (over 10 - 3 S cm - 1) and electrochemical stability (electrochemical window over 6.0 V). The morphology of the obtained fibers was quantified using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). We found that on average the effect of the IL on fiber diameter differs for lower and higher IL concentrations and that this effect was correlated with the initial conductivity and viscosity of Ion Jelly electrospinning solution. Moreover we also found that conductivities of Ion Jelly fibers are of the same order of magnitude as the conductivities of Ion Jelly dense films (∼ 10 - 4 S cm - 1). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the incorporation of an IL into gelatin fibers using electrospinning. This opens up new opportunities for the application of gelatin fibers in electrochemical and biomedical devices.
- Ionic liquids